Some of the entries in the 2013 competition displayed at a community council meeting.

The Salmon Youth Centre and Cllr Eliza Mann have teamed up to organise another Bermondsey in Bloom competition.

Over the next few months, young people from Salmon Youth Centre will take to the streets of Bermondsey with a camera and a sharp eye for good looking gardens.

There will be prizes and certificates for the top three entrants (chosen by independent judges) in each of the following categories:

  • Balconies and window boxes
  • Pubs and businesses
  • School gardens
  • Community gardens
  • Edible gardens and allotments
  • Estates gardens
  • Front gardens
  • Wildlife gardens

The competition is open to all residents and organisations in Grange ward, Riverside ward and South Bermondsey ward.

The entry form is available on the Salmon website – or you can drop in to the youth centre in Old Jamaica Road and pick up a paper copy from reception.

The closing date is Friday 22 August

Winners will be announced at the September meeting of Bermondsey & Rotherhithe Community Council.

Rotherhithe-based charity Time & Talents wants to set up an educational centre which will offer at-risk young people and vulnerable adults horticulture and construction qualifications, coaching them in workplace skills, supporting their transition into apprenticeships or employment. All growing will take place in communal areas on local estates, increasing ownership and wellbeing.

The charity has applied for nearly £25,000 from the Engage Mutual Foundation whose community awards are determined by a public vote. So far Time & Talents has notched up 63 votes but needs many more to be in with a chance of gaining the cash.

You can vote online until the end of May to show your support for this local initiative.

Southwark Council and the the Save Your Riverside campaign are  urging residents and Londoners to voice their opinions on the super sewer at the Planning Inspectorate’s open floor hearings on Thames Water’s proposed Thames Tideway Tunnel or ‘super sewer’.

One such hearing will be held this Friday (22 November) at Glaziers Hall near London Bridge. The session starts at 9.30am with registration from 9am.

“All residents opposing the use of Chambers Wharf as a drilling site for the tunnel will have an opportunity to be heard at the Open Floor Hearing at Glaziers Hall,” said Rita Cruise O’Brien, chair of Save Your Riverside.

“The strength of community support is vital. We have an opportunity to let the Planning Inspectors know how devastating this proposal will be on our peaceful community, involving six years of work, three of those 24/7 with hundreds of lorries using local streets daily. For the sake of local residents, young and old and school children, we must make our views known. Please attend.”

Simon Hughes MP will be speaking at Friday’s hearing along with Cllr Peter John, leader of Southwark Council.

Cllr John said:  “We strongly believe these proposals will blight the lives and safety of families living in the Chambers Wharf area, day and night, for far too long, and just to make life a little easier for Thames Water.

“Our own assessment shows that the reasons given for creating the main tunnel drive at Chambers Wharf are not essential to the plans, there are other more suitable sites that have been dismissed out of hand that will have much less of an impact on fewer people, and Thames Water are wrong to suggest otherwise.

“I would welcome anyone who wants to come down and join us on Friday to show how strongly they object to these plans.”

Sublime Magazine Center for Sustainability

Local controversy is mounting over the future of the former Rotherhithe Library and civic centre in Albion Street.

This week Southwark’s cabinet approved in principle plans to develop new council homes on the site – a move supported by the Rotherhithe Area Housing Forum whose chairman Barry Duckett addressed the meeting in support of the plans.


However there is a rival proposal from Sublime Magazine to turn the building into a ‘centre for sustainability and social enterprise.

Sublime claims that the centre will lead  research into renewable energy, environmental design and the delivery of education on sustainable practices. It will promote local skills and manufacture, support social enterprise and media-training activities for local young people.

Sublime’s proposal has been branded as “awful” by Cllr Richard Livingstone, cabinet member for resources, who tweeted:

An e-petition calling on the council to consider the sustainability centre plan has so far attracted 236 signatures. It must reach 500 to force the cabinet to consider their request.

Val Shawcross, London Assembly member for Lambeth & Southwark, has officially opened the revamped farmyard at Surrey Docks Farm.

“I was delighted to be invited to open the new-look farmyard at Surrey Docks Farm,” said Val.

“The farm is a fantastic local charity and a real jewel in Rotherhithe’s crown. It’s fascinating fun to come and watch all the animals, and this morning as usual there were a number of children having a great time making friends with the goats. T

“he new surface in the yard will make cleaning and drainage easier and makes it very clear that visitors need to wash their hands after being in the animals’ area.

“Gary Jones the farm manager and his team have done a fantastic job – this project has been a real team effort, with input from staff, volunteers and farm committee members. Everyone has shown a great deal of perseverance which has paid off today.

“If you’ve not visited the farm before I highly recommend it – it’s a great day out for anyone of any age.’

The farmyard refurbishment project was funded by the Biffa Award scheme, the Worshipful Company of Farmers and British Land/Surrey Quays Shopping Centre who donated the proceeds of their 2012 Christmas Appeal.

 

A new sculpture and bench in memory of cycling campaigner (and Surrey Docks Farm manager) Barry Mason has been unveiled alongside Greenland Dock.

Barry is represented by a sculptural depiction of his  bicycle and a cormorant, a reference to his twin passions for cycling and birdwatching.

The adjacent bench features representations of Rotherhithe-born actor Michael Caine and A-Z map creator Phyllis Pearsall who has links with Dulwich.

The artwork has been installed by the Sustrans charity as part of the South Bermondsey Connect2 project to create a new walking and cycling route between Greenland Dock and Burgess Park.

‘Portrait benches’ featuring people with a local connection are a trademark of Sustrans’ Lottery-funded Connect2 projects around the country.

The most visible element of the local Connect2 scheme is the new bridge over Rotherhithe New Road which was opened earlier this year.

Barry Mason had campaigned tirelessly to ensure that the bridge came to fruition even when it seemed that the project would be written off as too difficult.

Barry Mason IF